Solar Shingles

Roofing Types

Solar Shingles in Los Angeles

Solar shingles, also called photovoltaic shingles, are solar panels designed to look like and function as conventional roofing materials, such as asphalt shingle or slate, while also producing electricity. Solar shingles are a type of solar energy solution known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

There are several varieties of solar shingles, including shingle-sized solid panels that take the place of a number of conventional shingles in a strip, semi-rigid designs containing several silicon solar cells that are sized more like conventional shingles, and newer systems using various thin-film solar celltechnologies that match conventional shingles both in size and flexibility. There are also products using a more traditional number of silicon solar cells per panel reaching as much as 100 watts DC rating per shingle.

Solar shingles are manufactured by several companies but the three main manufacturers of solar roof shingles are RGS Energy, SolarCity, and CertainTeed. Other active companies in the US include SunTegra Solar Roof Systems, and Atlantis Energy Systems (asphalt and slate systems).

The cost of solar shingles can range from $3.80 per watt up to $9.00 per watt installed depending on the manufacturer, technology used, and system size. As of May 2019, the average cost of a traditional, roof-mounted residential solar panel installation in the United States was just above $3.00 per watt, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. While solar shingles are typically more expensive to install than traditional solar panels, some companies in recent years since 2014 have made strides to lessen the gap between the installed cost of going solar with panels versus going solar with shingles.

According to Dow Chemical Company reports, a typical residential install consisting of 350 solar shingles can cost at least $20,000; however, federal and state incentives depending on the location might significantly bring down the cost.
Solar contractors typically offer homeowners a full-service price for solar installation, which includes equipment purchasing, permit preparation and filing, registration with the local utility company, workmanship warranties, and complete on-site installation. Because photovoltaic solutions produce power in the form of direct current (DC) and the standard in homes is alternating current (AC), all grid-connected solar installations include an inverter to convert DC to AC.

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